'Phantom of the Opera' goes on tour, plus more theater buzz

Michael Crawford as Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Michael Crawford as Phantom and Sarah Brightman as Christine, original stars of "Phantom of the Opera." (1988) Photo Credit: Clive Barda

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WHAT "Phantom of the Opera"

THE DEAL Apparently it's not too soon to revive "Phantom." Even though the original Broadway production, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Majestic Theatre, still shows no signs of closing, producer Cameron Mackintosh plans to present an entirely new production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (though it will at least have the same costume design) that will tour the country next season. It will be directed by Laurence Connor, who also is directing the new "Les Mis" that is heading to Broadway next year.

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WHAT "Honeymoon in Vegas"

THE DEAL Jason Robert Brown's musical of the 1992 film comedy, which has long been in development and delayed repeatedly, will finally receive its world premiere this fall at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse. (The same venue presented the premiere of "Newsies" two years ago before it moved to Broadway.) It is being considered a pre-Broadway engagement. No longer clear is whether Tony Danza, who was expected to play the James Caan role from the movie, is still involved. Danza's rep had no comment.


WHAT Another "50 Shades" musical parody

THE DEAL Last month, "50 Shades! The Musical," an uninteresting parody of the well-known trilogy of erotic novels that was most notable for having an overweight Asian male in spandex play Christian Gray, played a limited run at the Gramercy Theatre. Now comes "Cuff Me: The Fifty Shades of Grey Musical Parody," a completely separate show that will play the Actors Temple Theatre beginning March 27. It won't officially open until May.

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WHAT "Smash"

THE DEAL The Nielsen ratings for "Smash" continue to be low. However, there is somewhat of a silver lining. According to Playbill.com, the show's DVR ratings have recently increased by more than 50 percent. Here's hoping that will be enough of a justification to keep the Broadway-themed television drama going.

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